2019 Ch. Montelena Potter Valley Riesling

2019 Ch. Montelena Potter Valley Riesling

¥6,380 (incl. tax)

In 2018, smoke from the fires that so damaged large swathes of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, led Chateau Montelena to scrap making a Riesling for the first time since 1972, likely an agonizing decision but an honest one. However, lovers of this dear favorite need not fret as it has returned -and in fine form, too! As usual, Montelena’s Riesling is sourced from the organic McFadden Farm in Mendocino’s Potter Valley, where cool summer nights at high elevations allow Riesling grapes to ripen  slowly, developing lovely aromas and rich flavors while maintaining excellent acidity. Conditions in 2019 produced ripe fruit, resulting in a wine slightly richer and more voluptuous than in other vintages. Lush yet lively, this is a versatile wine you can enjoy with lunch, dinner or appetizers in the early evening. The floral notes and tropical fruit aromas induce pleasure while the wine’s subtle balance of sweetness and acidity stands up to not only spicy Asian dishes but salads, blue or goat cheeses, sausages or pork, turning any meal into an elegant event.

Winery


Winery Description

Founded in the 1880s, Chateau Montelena was named for Mt. Saint Helena, the imposing peak that looks over the upper Napa Valley where the winery is located. For decades one of the valley’s top quality wine producers, the estate struggled in the years after prohibition and even ceased making wine from its grapes. That all changed in the late 1960s, when a group of partners led by Jim Barret revived the estate, restoring the iconic chateau-like winery building, the Chinese-themed gardens, and, most of all, the vineyards. In no time, Chateau Montelena was making wine that, along with other pioneers of that era, vaulted the Napa Valley into the major leagues of premium wine production. Indeed, by 1976 Chateau Montelena not only emerged as one of Napa Valley’s premier wineries, but awakened the entire world to the quality of California wine, when its 1973 Alexander Valley Chardonnay won first place in the infamous Paris Tasting, in which some of France’s greatest wine critics rated the Chateau Montelena above some of the most illustrious of white burgundies.

Since 1981, Bo Barret, son of the founder, has overseen the winemaking at Chateau Montelena, pursuing the goal of making flavorful but elegant, complex and age-worthy wines in the French style. Unlike many of its peers, Chateau Montelena’s wines do not undergo barrel fermentation, malolactic fermentation or even aging in exclusively new oak barrels in order to emphasize the nuances of the terroir and the natural flavors of the grapes.

The 98-acre Montelena Estate vineyards, spanning flatlands and hillsides north of the winery alongside the Napa River, features a rich mix of alluvial, sedimentary and volcanic soils as well as an intriguing variety of microclimates. Primarily planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, the estate also includes several blocs of Zinfandel. Vines planted in these rocky soils are naturally low-yielding, and such techniques as organic pest control, dry farming, and crop thinning bring yields down even further. The results of such low yields are evidenced in the consistent quality of the “Estate” wines: full-bodied, intense and flavorful - though somewhat tannic in their youth - elegant, complex and age-worthy.

In addition to the “Estate” wines, Chateau Montelena also produces Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards elsewhere in the Napa Valley, Chardonnay from both the Napa and Alexander valleys and a small amount of Riesling from the Potter Valley in Mendicino County.

About this Wine


Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Potter Valley (Mendocino)
Winery Ch. Montelena
Vintage 2019
Color White
Varietal(s) Riesling
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 7.5 x 33.5
Case Size 32.0 x 25.0 x 34.5
Alcohol 13.4%
Product Code MT19RSL
UPC NONE

Owning & Enjoying


Tasting notes

The wine starts with ripe aromas of lychee, pear, peach and melon, releasing jasmine and floral notes as it opens up. The palate is lush but lively with pineapple and apricot accented with hints of honey. The wine finishes so crisp and fresh, it’s hard to resist a second sip - or glass.

Production


Vinification

Fermented in stainless steel and aged six months in both stainless steel and neutral oak barrels.

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